Regional District of the Central Okanagan supports North Westside governance study

Regional District of the Central Okanagan supports North Westside governance study

The RDCO will write a letter of support for the community’s restructure planning grant application

The application for a governance study is going ahead for the North Westside.

During the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) board meeting on Thursday, July 9, the board of directors approved the request from the North Westside Communities Association.

The approval comes after a representative from the association, Callie Simpson, gave a presentation to the board on Monday, June 22, requesting that a second governance study be done.

She said the first study didn’t give the results the community was looking for.

“Our communities have been requesting a governance study since 2016. We did, in fact, receive funding for a detailed diagnostic review but somewhere along the line, that was changed to a services and issues review,” Simpson said.

Instead of showing if the North Westside can financially afford to be its own municipality or not, the services and issues review highlighted issues with communication between the community and the RDCO. It also showed community members didn’t feel that their interests were being represented by the regional district’s board or staff, which resulted in a lack of trust in the district.

Electoral area director Wayne Carson said the board’s support is great news.

“I’m extremely pleased. We’ve been working on this for four years and we’re just so pleased the board has chosen to support this. It looks like we got unanimous support, which is nice to see,” he said.

“Now hopefully, this study will answer the original question: is the North Westside financially capable of self-governance?”

Carson added the goal of the study is to educate community members so they can make informed decisions regarding the direction they want to take their community.

RDCO board chair Gail Given said the letter of support has been written and signed and once the letter is sent off to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, it is in the province’s hands.

“It’s in the ministry’s hands as to whether or not they think it’s valuable use of money. The number one thing the association wants is to understand what it would cost them to self-govern and if they’re getting their money’s value for the services they’re receiving now,” she said.

“They really want numbers… and it is my hope that the ministry will be able to provide them with some sense of the level of expense that creating your own community will have.”

Given added the communities association made it clear they are not looking for incorporation, so she and the board are a bit unclear on the path the community wants to take.

“I’m a bit unclear on what exactly what they’re looking for, but what they want now is numbers so they can determine for themselves their own outcome. I would hope that that comes about.”

The regional district board has also asked staff to include funds in the 2021 and 2022 financial plan for an independent consultant to assist the RDCO in implementing a communications strategy, which will follow up on the recommendations of the first study to improve communication between the regional district and the community.

The request for the governance study comes after the suspension of fire chief Jason Satterthwaite and Lt. Rob Gajda, with the cause of suspension still unknown.

READ: North Westside residents ask for study to determine if they should stay in regional district

READ: North Westside firefighters replaced after protesting suspension of chief, deputy


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cops for Kids riders will be spinning 30 feet in the air on scissor lifts at SaveOn Foods locations in Kelowna, Lake Country and West Kelowna Saturday, May 8, 2021. (File photo)
Cops reach new heights for Okanagan kids

Nor-Val Rentals is doing the heavy lifting Saturday in Kelowna, West Kelowna and Lake Country

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News file)
People aged 30+ in Rutland, Summerland offered vaccine amid high transmission risk

Interior Health offers residents of Kelowna’s Rutland area and Summerland aged 30 and up chance at vaccine

Alex Hegedus (left) with his wife and two young children. (Contributed/Kelowna RCMP)
Family offers reward for information about Peachland man’s suspicious 2018 death

Alex Hegedus died under suspicious circumstances in March 2018

Two e-scooters parked on the sidewalk along Water Street in downtown Kelowna on Monday, May 3. Scooters parked on walkways are causing accessibility issues for some people with disabilities. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick summary of the stories that made an impact from May 3 to 5

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Lake Country firefighters assisted the RCMP on Kalamalka Lake Tuesday, May 4. (Fire Department file photo)
Okanagan RCMP interrupt houseboat break-in

Pair in their 30s arrested but no charges laid after alleged Kalamalka Lake incident

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

Most Read